25 Filmmaker Quotes

September 30, 2009 by Samantha Halfon · 25 Comments
Filed under: Arts, Cinephile 
  1. As filmmakers, we can show where a person’s mind goes, as opposed to theater, which is more to sit back and watch it. –Darren Aronofsky
  2. You see so many movies… the younger people who are coming from MTV or who are coming from commercials and there’s no sense of film grammar. There’s no real sense of how to tell a story visually. It’s just cut, cut, cut, cut, cut, you know, which is pretty easy. –Peter Bogdanovich
  3. Pick up a camera. Shoot something. No matter how small, no matter how cheesy, no matter whether your friends and your sister star in it. Put your name on it as director. Now you’re a director. Everything after that you’re just negotiating your budget and your fee. –James Cameron
  4. Most people don’t know what they want or feel. And for everyone, myself included, It’s very difficult to say what you mean when what you mean is painful. The most difficult thing in the world is to reveal yourself, to express what you have to… As an artist, I feel that we must try many things – but above all, we must dare to fail. You must have the courage to be bad – to be willing to risk everything to really express it all. –John Cassavetes
  5. Cassavetes

  6. The funniest thing is that all the things every director goes through, I thought I could shortcut, but there was no getting around those issues. –George Clooney
  7. I think cinema, movies, and magic have always been closely associated. The very earliest people who made film were magicians. –Francis Ford Coppola
  8. In the future, everybody is going to be a director. Somebody’s got to live a real life so we have something to make a movie about. –Cameron Crowe
  9. And I don’t think I’m giving away any secrets here, but there are a lot of terrible scripts in this town. –Frank Darabont
  10. The camera lies all the time; lies 24 times/second. –Brian De Palma
  11. My old drama coach used to say, ‘Don’t just do something, stand there.’ Gary Cooper wasn’t afraid to do nothing. –Clint Eastwood
  12. eastwood

  13. Anybody can direct a picture once they know the fundamentals. Directing is not a mystery, it’s not an art. The main thing about directing is: photograph the people’s eyes. –John Ford
  14. Movement should be a counter, whether in action scenes or dialogue or whatever. It counters where your eye is going. This style thing, for me it’s all fitted to the action, to the script, to the characters. –Samuel Fuller
  15. A story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end… but not necessarily in that order. –Jean-Luc Godard
  16. I’m a storyteller – that’s the chief function of a director. And they’re moving pictures, let’s make ‘em move! –Howard Hawks
  17. The directing of a picture involves coming out of your individual loneliness and taking a controlling part in putting together a small world. A picture is made. You put a frame around it and move on. And one day you die. That is all there is to it. –John Huston
  18. A film is – or should be – more like music than like fiction. It should be a progression of moods and feelings. The theme, what’s behind the emotion, the meaning, all that comes later. –Stanley Kubrick
  19. A lot of times you get credit for stuff in your movies you didn’t intend to be there. –Spike Lee
  20. For any director with a little lucidity, masterpieces are films that come to you by accident. –Sidney Lumet
  21. I studied English Literature. I wasn’t a very good student, but one thing I did get from it, while I was making films at the same time with the college film society, was that I started thinking about the narrative freedoms that authors had enjoyed for centuries and it seemed to me that filmmakers should enjoy those freedoms as well. –Christopher Nolan
  22. I mean, certainly writing, painting, photography, dance, architecture, there is an aspect of almost every art form that is useful and that merges into film in some way. –Sydney Pollack
  23. Cinema is a matter of what’s in the frame and what’s out. –Martin Scorsese
  24. Scorsese

  25. People have forgotten how to tell a story. Stories don’t have a middle or an end any more. They usually have a beginning that never stops beginning. –Steven Spielberg
  26. I steal from every movie ever made. –Quentin Tarantino
  27. I think it’s a very strange question that I have to defend myself. I don’t feel that. You are all my guests, it’s not the other way around, that’s how I feel. — Lars Von Trier
  28. If two men on a job agree all the time, then one is useless. If they disagree all the time, then both are useless. –Daryl F. Zanuck








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The Film That Could Have Been – Legal Matters In Production

August 12, 2009 by Derrick Faw · 2 Comments
Filed under: Filming, Legal, World Wide Angle 

nooscarAs many other inspiring filmmakers, we have several ideas for projects we want to work on. Recently an opportunity came up for us to work in conjunction with someone else to make a documentary. Early on it became evident that the film had great potential. The prospects of a lucrative film can definitely get one’s hopes up. Most importantly for us though, was the chance to get solid recognition for our work. After most of the pre-production was finished, we were forced to drop out of the project. There is nothing or no one to blame but our own mistakes. Unfortunately we went into the project excited and with blind trust to find out later that our partner was not on the same wavelength as us.

We decided that we needed assistance in a very important filmmaking skill, that of people skills. On this particular project, the other person proved to be a good talker, which had us feeling pretty confident that we were going in the right direction. Because of our partner’s personal connection with the subject of the film, we all thought it was only smart to use them as the front person for the project. Little did we realize at the time, this would undermine the partnership we had invisioned.

Gradually a feeling of tension began to rise about how the profit and credits should be distributed. There were also questions of differences in artistic opinion. Finally, the inevitable confrontation came to a head. Needless to say it did not go well. Our partner had decided that they should receive virtually all the profit and credit for the film.  We were merely employees working on wages of promises and a slight mention in the credits. This was a slap in the face when we had done most of the work up to this point. So with no way to even come to a compromise, we felt it was best for us to take the lesson as learned and move on to other projects. I am happy to say within two days, two more projects came to us that we are very excited about and look forward to start talking about on this blog.

With the creation of these new projects hopefully we have learned better to put our ducks in a row. Where did we make a mistake to begin with? I believe it was by not deciding how the partnership would work at the time of the project’s creation. We had actually discussed it briefly, just saying “lets not worry about this yet, lets see if we can do it first”. It was mentioned that we would not try to take advantage of the other and so on. Well as they say, talk is cheap.

It seems to be a common mistake of new filmmakers, to put the art in front of the legal aspects.  Unfortunately this is something we have to deal with. Legal matters have to be delt with precisely and comprehensively. The Pocket Lawyer for Filmmakers By Thomas A. Crowell is a good starters guide for diving into the legal issues surrounding the entertainment industry.

Consult entertainment attorney before taking any important steps.

Some But Not All – Legal Issues to Consider:

  • Partnerships and collaborations. Have a proper contract from the very beginning so all parties involved know exactly what to expect and to avoid potential problems.
  • Creation. Protect your story or other creative ideas. Obtain proper rights from other’s creative work you incorperate. Such as books, songs, films, etc. If you plan to depict actual persons, be aware of defamation and their right of privacy. A lawyer should be consulted for your own protection.
  • Contracts for all cast and crew.
  • If you plan to use Union workers, you might have to deal with organizations like the Directors Guild of America, Writers Guild of America, the Screen Actors Guild, or the International Association of Theater and Stage Employees.
  • Releases. Personal Releases. Have a proper release form when you film or photograph anyone. Location releases. Some specific locations, such as businesses, buildings, and monuments may require a release. Products and personal property are also subject to needing a release.
  • Distribution. To be able to distribute the film, make sure you have all the proper rights to do so, and all releases are cleared. Know what rights you give up through any method of distribution.
  • Copyright might be important for the finished product and script.
  • Insurrance. Protect yourself. You don’t need it unless or until the enevitable happens. If it does you better have it.

Introduction to Guerrilla Filmmaking

November 30, 2008 by Derrick Faw · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Equipment 
John Cassavetes filming Shadows

John Cassavetes filming Shadows

It doesn’t take long to realize that filming requires more than just a good camera. It takes a lot of various equipment to make a video project come together. The first thing you will discover when you want to experiment with new techniques is that video equipment is very expensive. The good news is that with a little ingenuity, motivation, and a do it yourself (DIY) attitude you can make much of your own equipment reasonably cheap. A lot of people tell aspiring filmmakers that they don’t have a chance. That the business is too closed to outsiders, especially here in France. Well I for one refuse to that advice, but I keep it in mind. Just as with the popularization of hand held cameras in the late fifties a “New Wave” of filmmakers were born, today we stand at another crossroads. Filmmakers do not necessarily need to rely on big distribution companies anymore. A whole new audience has arrived via the Internet. Thus increasing the possibilities for new talent being discovered. If you have a drive to make your own films you can get it done, take John Cassavetes for example. His tactics for making films are now that of legend. Unable to receive funding from conventional sources, he looked anywhere he could to bring things together. From his own personal savings, acting in several films, contributions from friends, and multiple mortgages on his home, he was able to find the necessary money to make his films. He cast and crew consisted of friends, students and other volunteers. He has even been know to siphon electricity from a city power line. Ultimately though, the mark of his films was the passion and edge represented in the final product and not the methods he went about to achieve them. Since then several guerrilla filmmaker have made their mark on Hollywood. Most notably people like Spike Lee and Robert Rodriguez. One very important issue to consider though when looking to save money is the legality of what you do. For example shooting without permits in certain locations could cause yourself a lot of trouble. Also if you film in a professional environment, it is not a good idea to look cheap. People like to know they are paying for quality, and unfortunately appearance can play a hefty role in that aspect. As we begin in our own films, the issue of equipment and money is very near to us. It will be necessary for us to save money and cut corners whenever we can. Personally I have always liked to invent and make things, which is an added bonus. Also you may find, as I do, that what you might need simply doesn’t exist or needs modification. In upcoming post we will talk more about specific ideas and techniques to keep the cost down and have quality equipment on hand.